Need a NEC 3550A DVD Guru

[qanda]This thread is about the NEC ND-3550 DVD-RW Black. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]My NEC DVD_RW ND-3550 (firmware ver 1.07) DL DVD burner has started to not recognize about half of the factory DVD’s. When I click on the drive, it tells me to insert a disc. I can take the disc out of my the drive in put in a Dell or HP laptop, that has no problem recognizing the disc.

I can put another factory DVD or my burned DVD (Verbatim DVD+R) in the NEC 3550, and it reads them without a problem. Every DVD burned can be read by any DVD player. I am running Windows XP64 Professional. A friend that has a Sony Optiarc is having exactly the same problem. He is running Windows XP(32) Professional.

We are both running antivirus, malware, and spybot software protection programs, and scan our systems regularly. We have both tried cleaning the discs, rebooting the systems, updating our firmware, removing and reinstalling the drives, which has made no difference. Searching the net, I found forums where others were having the same problem. It seems many that reply, don’t read the problem, because their answers are: update the firmware, use good discs, or remove and reinstall the drive.

On one site, the poster said to try reinstalling Adaptec lastest ASPI drivers. I went to Adaptec, grabbed the latest XP version (471a2.exe), and tried to run the self-extracting install, that gave me the message that that version was not for my system. I got a copy of the Nero ASPI drivers, which said XP did not need it, and that it was only necessary on 98 or Me. Regardless, I don’t know if this is the problem or not.

When I go to the Device Manager and bring up the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers properties, the General Tab says “The device is working properly”. When I click the Advanced Settings tab, Transfer Mode is set to DMA if available, however the Current Transfer Mode is shown as PIO mode. DMA is enabled in the bios. When I click on the NEC DVD_RW and select Properties, again it says “The device is working properly”.

I have tried to stick to the facts and explain this as straight forward as possible. Is there anyone else having this problem, or aware of a fix for it? :confused:

I don’t know if this is the same problem, but I was able to get my brother-in-law’s 3550A working again by taking it apart and cleaning the lens, and the rubber pad on the spindle that holds the DVD. (You start by taking off the bezel, front panel, and then the screws from the bottom.)

That rubber pad was full of little gritty stuff, and that was probably causing the DVD to slip. I used an alcohol-type wipe on that and on the lens (gently!!); I think the pad was the bigger problem. This thread: http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/fixing-your-panny-when-theres-fault-lens-cleaning-doesnt-help-210507/ is where I found out about the “dirty spindle” problem…

Thank you AFECU! I use the CD with the brushes regularly, so that wasnt in my mind, but after reading that link, you may have something. Before I try that, I have ordered a Samsung SH-222a burner. That way, I will accomplish 2 tasks. If I replace the Nec with the new Samsung burner, and still have the same problem, I can rule out the drive not functioning properly. Secondly, if I damage the NEC in disassembly, cleaning and reassembly, then I have a backup on hand.
When the new drive arrives, I will follow up with my findings, for those that may have this problem.

As I said earlier, I ordered a new OEM Samsung 222a. Got it for $30 with free shipping off Ebay. Installed it, and ALL of my problems disappeared. Haven’t had time to clean the old DVD burner, but will get to that later. Thanks to everyone that helped on this problem! :clap: